Spring sports preview: Defending state champ SHS girls tennis team challenged by roster turnover

Editor’s note: After a handful of practices, Sequim High School’s spring sports seasons were cancelled before any officials games were played following statewide shutdown of schools and all extra-curricular activities in April. These previews were written just prior to those seasons were slated to begin. — MD

Spring sports preview: Girls tennis

Head coach: Mark Textor (12th year)

2019 finish: 16-0, Olympic League 2A champions; West Central District champions, State 2A champions (tied); one doubles team to state

Top returning players: Jessica Dietzman (sr.), Kalli Wiker (jr.), McKenna Hastings (jr.), Melissa Porter (jr.), Kayli Prorok (sr.), Eva Lofstrom (sr.), Sierra Abner (jr.), Mirella Chavin (jr.), Allie Gale (so.), Malory Morey (so.), Ruby Romano (so.), Aidyn Shingleton (so.), Amanda Weller (jr.)

Newcomers: Francesca Bargis (jr.), Kali Biddle (fr.), Rae Douglas (fr.), Kendall Hastings (fr.), Jordan Hegtvedt (so.), Kariya Johnson (so.), Lili Lebatteux (jr.), Matilda Lundstrom (fr.), Madison McKeown (so.), Lindsay Swanson (fr.), Karlie Viada (fr.), Tatiana Vidals (jr.), Michaela Vogel (fr.)

Key league competition: North Kitsap (13-3, 2nd in Olympic League in 2019), Olympic (11-3, 3rd), Kingston (10-6, 4th)

Number remain strong for Sequim High’s girls tennis team but a rather ominous large one sticks out this preseason for the Wolves’ coach: Seven.

That’s the number of starters lost from last year’s team that routed league foes to the tune of a 16-0 record, a West Central District crown and share of the state 2A title.

“We’ve got some challenges ahead of us,” SHS head coach Mark Textor said.

“We have more youth than we’ve had in a long time.”

In previous seasons, those youngsters filling roles often had at least some junior tennis experience but few newcomers on this year’s spring roster do, he said.

Then again, Textor does have the returning state champs (and 2018 state runner-ups) in senior Jessica Dietzman and junior Kalli Wiker.

“That doesn’t hurt,” Textor said.

Dietzman and Wiker finished the 2019 season with an unblemished 22-0 mark and are 40-1 as doubles partners in the past two seasons. They capped their 2019 run by overcoming a first-set loss to top Sammamish’s Katrina Kuntz and Nina Vongsaly in the title match — the same doubles team Dietzman and Wiker fell to in the 2018 championship match.

Textor said it will be imperative that the Sequim duo stay focused during the regular season after so much success in the past two campaigns.

“I have to do a good job of challenging them … not letting them get stale,” he said.

The Sequim coach will also ask Dietzman and Wiker to be leaders on the court with this particularly young squad.

“They’ve got to be leaders; they’ve got to be teachers,” Textor said.

Also back are McKenna Hastings and Melissa Porter. Hastings and now graduated doubles partner Ashley Rosales went 13-0 in the regular season and 2-2 in the league tourney last spring. Porter predominantly played doubles before switching to singles just before, and during, the league tourney.

“They are hard workers,” Textor said of Hastings and Porter.

“They both have game and both work really hard.”

Kayli Prorok helps give the Wolves some depth, he said; the SHS senior saw action in four varsity matches in 2019.

The rest of the varsity roster from positions five through 11, Textor noted, is “wide open.”

The Wolves hit the courts Monday, March 16, when they host Kingston. Sequim is at Bremerton on March 18 and host North Mason on March 19.

SHS Girls Tennis — 2020 season schedule

Date Opponent Time

March 16 at North Mason 4 p.m.

March 18 at Bremerton 4 p.m.

March 19 North Mason 4 p.m.

March 23 at North Kitsap 4 p.m.

March 25 Port Angeles 4 p.m.

March 26 at Olympic 4 p.m.

April 7 Klahowya 4 p.m.

April 14 Bremerton 4 p.m.

April 20 North Kitsap 4 p.m.

April 22 at Port Angeles 4 p.m.

April 23 Olympic 4 p.m.

April 27 Chimacum 4 p.m.

April 30 at Chimacum 4 p.m.

May 4 at Klahowya 4 p.m.

May 7 at Kingston 4 p.m.

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